Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Stephen Graham Jones: A Cornucopia of Dark Wonders, Part Four

This is part four of the interview.
| Part One | Part Two | Part Three |

MM: I hear your story collection from Prime isn't your only new book coming out soon. What else do you have in the hopper?

Looking like It Came from Del Rio will be hitting in October, from Trapdoor, an excellent new publisher out here in Colorado. Some of the stuff they have in the works, man – I told Chris Matney [Trapdoor's founder] yesterday that I kind of suspect Trapdoor's going to be the Taco Bell of this version of Demolition Man we're living in. That they might be the ones to win the fast food wars, I mean, the ones who figure out how to move around in this e-book phase of things. Instead of being scared of it like most places seem to be, they're pushing it farther, harder, better. So excited.

And, as for It Came from Del Rio, it's an epistolary South Texas zombie novel. This touching story of a father and daughter finding each again, coming to terms with what one's done, what one now is. And, I say it's a zombie novel, but not the shuffling, brain-eating kind. Though I like to do that as well, of course. Who doesn't? But Del Rio, the 'zombie' in it, his own head kind of gets worn down, just by, you know, living, non-living, all that, so he has to fight this giant rabbit, steal that rabbit's head. Series title: The Bunnyhead Chronicles. I love this novel so, so much.

Also, just this week I'm signing a two-book deal with Dzanc, for some non-horror stuff. Hardly normal stuff, though. The first book, due out in 2013, it's Flushboy, a teen love story about this kid working the window at his dad's drive-through urinal, The Bladder Hut. We've all been there, right? Taking bank tubes of warm, sloshing urine, depositing it in the vats, knowing that if you don't keep the pressures adjusted, then those vats are going to boil over, wash you away.

The second book ¬– this is 2014 – is Not for Nothing, a second-person noir set not just in any small town, but in the small town I grew up in, Stanton, Texas. I've done a lot of fiction where I just make places up as I go, get all fast and loose with geography and history, all of that, but in this one, every building's not just real to me, but a kind of hyper-real, all laden with everything I know's happened there across the last forty years. Our grumbly hero here's Nicholas Bruiseman, an ousted homicide detective being forced to return to his hometown, solve some cases he wants no part of, as they're making him look into a past he thought forgot. But, in places like Stanton, the past is never gone. You live in it, day by day.

And, I guess that's four books on the way, yeah? Hopefully a couple more. My 2012's all empty right now. But I've got all these other novels too, each of which I love – Seven Spanish Angels, Zombie Bake-Off, The Least of My Scars, one I can't say the name of out loud (set in Stanton too), another with the best title ever, which I also can't say out loud as I'm right-now rewriting it for the third time, and another (werewolves, excellent title) that I just need to steal some months to get down on paper the right way. So, yeah, hopefully more'll be happening.

MM: Sounds like you keep busy! Where online should readers go to find out more about your work, and of course, to buy your books?

SGJ: I guess Powell's and all the on-line places have my books. And of course the different publishers (FC2, MacAdam/Cage, Nebraska, Chiasmus, and, soon, Prime and Trapdoor – Trapdoor's It Came from Del Rio – and one more that I can't quite say out loud yet). And my site's usually got links. http://demontheory.net

MM: Will you be a guest at any conventions in the next year?

SGJ: Yeah, MileHiCon here soon, in Denver. Doing a festival out in Minnesota in October. Probably more, and more.

MM: Is there anything you’d like to add that we haven’t covered so far?

SGJ: A few weeks ago I was on a panel about writing, and the talk veered towards writing and community, and I realized – had known all along, I guess – that it's in horror that I've found the best sense of community. That best group of people all supporting each other, sharing the same cool interests, hoping each other makes it. Which, that's not why I write horror – I can't seem to help writing horror, even though it terrifies me each time – but it definitely helps. So, thanks to all the writers I've met out there, and'll keep meeting. Always an honor. I'm so lucky that this ridiculous thing I keep trying to do puts me in contact with such good people. I wouldn't be anywhere else.

MM: Thank you for taking the time to talk with me today.

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